Domestic Coal Deliveries.

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce. – in the House of Commons on 4th March 1942.

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Photo of Mr John Banfield Mr John Banfield , Wednesbury

asked the Secretary for Mines whether, in view of the difficulties of coal distributors through shortage of labour, he will give a direction to local authorities to arrange for delivery of coal in their areas to those people who otherwise would suffer cold and hardship?

Photo of Mr David Grenfell Mr David Grenfell , Gower

In several districts, where local difficulties in effecting deliveries have been encountered, very welcome assistance has been given by the local authorities concerned, as regards both labour and vehicles. Divisional Coal Officers have been encouraged to seek such assistance where necessary. On no occasion to my knowledge has a local authority, with labour and vehicles to spare, refused to assist.

Photo of Mr John Banfield Mr John Banfield , Wednesbury

Will the Minister give instructions to his local officers to inquire from the local authorities what they are doing in the matter, because the situation is serious in some parts of the country?

Photo of Mr David Grenfell Mr David Grenfell , Gower

My hon. Friend will know that during the last few days this matter has been given very close attention, and if he knows of any particular locality which requires immediate attention, perhaps he will let me know.

Photo of Mr Tom Smith Mr Tom Smith , Normanton

Has any progress been made with regard to the distribution scheme?

Photo of Mr David Grenfell Mr David Grenfell , Gower

That is a very large question. There is a shortage of transport in some areas and also a shortage of labour, but what is needed is more mutual co-operation within the trade itself.

Photo of Mr George Griffiths Mr George Griffiths , Hemsworth

If there is a shortage of labour at the present time, why is it that this very vital labour is still being called up, and should not that be stopped?

Photo of Mr David Grenfell Mr David Grenfell , Gower

I think that the number of cases where men are called up is very small indeed.